Leading haptics engineering team is developing technologies to bring more touch to our world

On the fifth floor of the University of Ottawa’s Iconic SITE Electrical Engineering and Computer Science building, Dr. Abdulmotaleb El Saddik and his team of students are changing the way we interact with the world. Dr. El Saddik is at the forefront of haptics, a field that brings touch to electronic devices.

Haptics technologies can be found everywhere in our modern world. Examples range from force feedback responses in flight simulators that train the commercial and military pilots that keep us safe, to built-in rumble packs in gaming controllers that enhance our games, and even to the phone vibrations that provide an alternative to ring tones of our mobile phones.

This is just the beginning of what will be an explosion of haptics in everyday life. In the not so distant future, deformable screens will bring tactile touch to our smart phones, and air jets and electromagnetic will bring touchable holograms. Dr. El Saddik is at the forefront of this revolution.

  “ The growing number of applications for next generation haptics can be found in almost every domain. Technology developers are taking steps to ensure that the latest haptics technology will have a much larger presence in their products. It is with this in mind that our lab is taking haptics technology to a whole new level of sophistication,” says Dr. El Saddik. He is becoming known around the world for  finding innovative applications for haptics technologies.

Dr. El Saddik’s projects include haptic feedback systems in vehicles, haptic enabled clothing that allow individuals to transmit and receive touch, and medical systems that provide feedback to both doctors and patients. His team focuses on the computer science and engineering of haptics. He deals with the challenges of integrating the advanced data transfer protocols haptic devices require for the massive amounts of data transferred real time in two directions by haptic devices. This means dealing with latency and processing times by developing new compression formats and haptics transfer protocols. For instance, the lab intends to make it easier for game developers to deal with the high volume of data associated with haptics parameters.

Dr. El Saddik and his large team of students have been well recognized by their peers for excellent research in this field. The team is now looking to bring haptics and the underlying technologies that make them possible to practical applications. The lab is an excellent resource for industry partners looking to add that special touch to their products.

See the Tabaret article for more information about Haptics at uOttawa:

http://tabaret.uottawa.ca/en/2013-09/science-fiction-within-our-grasp

Professor El-Saddik’s research websites can be found at http://www.mcrlab.uottawa.ca/ and at http://www.discover.uottawa.ca/

Information about the University of Ottawa can be found at http://www.uottawa.ca/about.html

For information on research partnerships contact ttbe@uottawa.ca